The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a level consistent with solid job growth.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he won't start to pick any big fights with Republicans because he's afraid of upsetting the momentum to pass an immigration bill — and that includes delaying President Obama's Labor Department nominee.
A plunge in the cost of gas drove down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month by the most since December 2008. Excluding the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the most since late March. The jump comes after applications fell to a five-year low.
Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in April by the most in three years. Outside those volatile categories, inflation stayed tame.
The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, a fresh five-year low. The decline signals fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.
Gina McCarthy's already bumpy road to becoming Environmental Protection Agency administrator took another detour Thursday morning when Senate Republicans boycotted a committee vote on her nomination, blocking it for now.
Friday's official jobs numbers were better than expected. The Labor Department says 165,000 private-sector positions were created in April, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent, a decline of only a tenth of a percentage point from March.
The downsizing of the U.S. government may not be returning all the taxpayer savings it was intended.